Each and every year film festivals give film fanatics from around the world a chance to see something unique and different from the traditional Hollywood studio releases and the odd independent or foreign film that might get a short and usually unnoticed run at a local theater before disappearing into relative obscurity and the shelves of a local video store. There are festivals of different sizes and scopes; some are showcases for the film industry and the source of where many smaller films get picked up by Hollywood studios and then filtered into multiplexes, and then there are those that have a much smaller and defined focus such as countless Asian film festivals, religious film festivals, and horror and other genre festivals. For every Toronto or Cannes there are three or four smaller, more low-key festivals. Still, while these festivals may not have the instant name recognition of the larger ones, they still provide many opportunities to see motion pictures that otherwise might not get the exposure they need.
The latest film festival to hit the streets of the Lower Mainland area is the Reel 2 Real International Film Festival which will unspool onto screens at two venues over the first ten days of March. Reel 2 Real, as is it known, is a festival that focuses on youth-oriented films and films with strong, important topics that apply to today's youth. Running from March 1st to 10th in Vancouver's yaletown area at Tinseltown Cinemas and the Roundhouse Community Centre, this year's festivities are split into two distinct sections – a school program which runs throughout the week and is split into 3 parts with films and more importantly film discussion aimed at three different age groups, and a public section taking placing the weekend of March 4th and 5th at Tinseltown.
In addition to the film screenings, this year's festivities include a number of interesting and informative workshops for youth on topics such as the art and science of filmmaking and filmmaking in general, pitching a TV series, digital editing, and film classification. Also, a number of the screenings will have special guests in attendance and will feature question and answer sections with the filmmakers or guests.
Also new for the 7th year of the festival is the fact they've joined forces with three other festivals, including the DOXA Documentary Film and Video Festival and Moving Pictures: Canadian Films on Tour to present the opening film Weird Sex & Snowshoes, based on the book of the same name by local film critic Katherine Monk. Other films of note that are screening include the 2003 release The School of Life starring Vancouver actor Ryan Reynolds and films from Sweden, Japan, and Quebec.
All in all, if you're looking for something a bit different from the mainstream offerings in theaters then be sure to take advantage of a film or two at this year's Reel 2 Real. A total of 35 features, both short and full-length, will be screened over 10 days in the Yaletown area of Vancouver. Tickets are extremely affordable, ranging $5 for most screenings to $10 for the award celebration. Full details on ticket availability, the schedule of films, and the festival itself is available at www.r2rfestival.org.
Keep checking in here at MovieContests.com for more coverage of the 7th Annual Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth.
Mark McLeod has always loved film. In addition to his roles with ShowbizMonkeys.com, Mark also works on many film promotion projects in Vancouver, BC, through his company, Mark McLeod PR.